Water's Wine

The balance of bliss is pain
The balance of pain is enlightenment
The balance of enlightenment is more enlightenment
The balance of more enlightenment is transcendence
The balance of transcendence is alienation
The balance of alienation is bliss


I tell myself
remind Me
you are gone

Lies are good

But then I want to see you as
You are
But you’re not

Truth is bad

Life slips

Like two weeks
like five years like coupon clippings
From a thick Sunday pullout
Shiny, vivid
Promising bargains in primary colors
Coupons expire
And expire and expire


Though they are numerous
I will grant your wishes
I am your angel
Though my wings are heavy

Allison Whittenberg is a poet and novelist (Life is Fine, Sweet Thang, Hollywood and Maine, and Tutored, all from Random House). She lives in Philadelphia.

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